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Polanski, who survived the Holocaust and lost his mother at Auschwitz, also has Polish citizenship and can travel safely to the country where he spent most of his childhood.

But, after that, it’s not so clear.

Italy has a long track record of working closely with American authorities and would likely go along with an American request to arrest Polanski. U.S.-Italian extradition problems have mainly centered on crimes that could entail the death penalty, which is irrelevant in Polanski’s case. So an appearance at the Venice Film Festival is probably out of the question.

Britain has an extradition treaty with the United States, and the Home Office says if there is a U.S. warrant out for Polanski’s arrest and he was in the country, they would have to act on it. In 2005, Polanski successfully sued Vanity Fair magazine for libel in a London court, but could only testify by video from Paris.

Germany has a treaty with the U.S., too, but said Tuesday it wouldn’t extradite Polanski. Justice Ministry spokesman Ulrich Staudigl told the AP that Polanski isn’t on a German wanted list and can continue to travel to the country. Officials in Austria also showed lenience, saying he was free to come and go without a specific request for his arrest.

That had been the case in Switzerland, where Polanski traveled for years after his flight from U.S. justice, only to be arrested in September as he arrived in Zurich to receive an award at a film festival. Now, his safety has been legally guaranteed by the Swiss government.

“The decision has been taken and the file is closed,” Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The AP. “It would only be a different situation if it concerned a new crime.”

Balmer said Polanski could even seek compensation for the two months he spent in prison and the seven months he was confined to his luxury chalet in the Swiss Alps.

Polanski was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

In exchange, a Los Angeles judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. He was released after 42 days by an evaluator who deemed him mentally sound and unlikely to offend again, but the judge threatened further sanctions and Polanski fled the United States.

The Swiss government said its decision to reject extradition was partly based on U.S. authorities’ failure to turn over transcripts of secret testimony given by the attorney who originally handled the director’s case. The testimony “should prove” that Polanski already served his sentence with the court-ordered diagnostic study, the Swiss Justice Ministry said.

Justice officials in Los Angeles and Washington decried the decision, and vowed to continue barring Polanski from the United States. L.A. prosecutors also said Polanski needed to return in person if he wanted to argue that his case was mishandled.

There was little fear the Swiss decision could damage Swiss-U.S. cooperation. Bilateral relations soured after a tax scandal involving wealthy Americans hiding money in the biggest Swiss bank, UBS AG, but improved with Switzerland’s approval of a settlement to the dispute and its acceptance of three prisoners for resettlement from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

But in a country long known for the low tax rates it offers the super-wealthy, many here were left with the impression that Polanski’s case showed how the rich and famous enjoy special privileges in Switzerland.

“If the main character in this drama hadn’t been Roman Polanski, but an unknown amateur actor, he would now be standing before a U.S. court,” the daily Neue Luzerner Zeitung said in an opinion piece.

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